Sivasakthi’s stunner wins it for Bengaluru FC

With three crucial points, Bengaluru FC kept their playoff hopes alive and climb to eight place with 18 points.
Last Updated 24 February 2024, 19:52 IST

Bengaluru: Bengaluru FC rode on substitute Sivasakthi Narayanan's late winner to edge Hyderabad FC 2-1 in their Indian Super League clash at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium on Saturday.

With three crucial points, BFC kept their playoff hopes alive and climb to eight place with 18 points.

After a goalless first half, Spanish midfielder Javi Hernandez put the hosts in front in the second half, but Hyderabad FC showed resolve and equalised through Ramlunchhunga. 

After being denied a penalty for hand-ball, Sivasakthi took it upon himself and produced a moment of individual brilliance. The 23-year-old cut in with his left foot and curled a splendid strike past HFC 'keeper Laxmikant Kattimani. 

Without the suspended Gerard Zaragoza, BFC's assistant coach Renedy Singh took charge down the touch-line and made three changes. Slavko Damjanovic replaced Aleksandar Jovanovic in the centre of defence, while Javi Hernandez and Lalremtluanga Fanai returned to the line-up in place of Harsh Patre and Suresh Singh Wangjam. 

Hyderabad FC head coach Thangboi Singto replaced suspended duo Joao Victor and Alex Saji with Abijith PA and Jeremy Zohminghlua.

Bengaluru FC started the game on the front foot with a flurry of attacks. Kattimani saved from Shivaldo Singh's long-range effort.

The youthful Nizams worked hard off the ball and kept their defensive shape to repel the hosts' forays.

Sunil Chhetri, making his 150th Indian Super League appearance, played Ryan Williams through, but the Australian found the side netting late in the first period.

Hernandez came close just before half time. Oliver Drost attempted a lob over Kattimani and Hernandez's attempt from the rebound was cleared off the line.

BFC broke the deadlock in the 72nd minute when Drost fed Hernandez, who found the back of the net from a tight angle.

Eight minutes later, Ramhlunchhunga pulled Hyderabad level when he bundled in Gurpreet Singh Sandhu's parry. 

But Sivasakthi, who was the Emerging player of the league last season, gave the Blues' supporters a reason to cheer as the Kanteerava found their voice. 

Zaragoza's men next face southern rivals Kerala Blasters on March 2 at the Kanteerava Stadium.

(Published 24 February 2024, 19:52 IST)

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